Category Archives: Volunteer Bloggers

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Speaking My Truth In My Own Words

At the start of this month, Chrissy Teigen shared with the world the loss of her son at 20 weeks. She literally posted black and white photos, speaking truth to her experience. Photos that spoke volumes without any words with her face wet with tears and grimaced in pain.  Prior to this painful loss, she has been vocal about her fertility treatment in the past, but what was different about this pregnancy was it was unexpected for the couple. She conceived naturally. She recently revealed her pregnancy joy with us on social media. She is high risk so she was on bed rest. She was very in tune with her medical needs and following doctor’s orders. But even when we do our best to protect the life inside of us, our journey takes another turn towards a path of loss and pain.

I learned a lot about pregnancy on my fertility journey, and one profound fact is that there is still mystery in conception. It is true that so much medical advancements have been made in this field, but there is still so much to research and discover about conception and pregnancy. When I was actively going through treatment, I had to free up my schedule. I had to be ready when my body was ready, when that one follicle released an egg. My doctor told me that there is a 24 hour window and if missed, we go back to the drawing board. And even if we do it right, checking off everything on the to-do list, it’s a 2 week waiting game. If the egg and sperm fertilize, there is no way of knowing if the fertilized egg will implant and if my body will accept it or reject it. And if after the two week wait reveals a negative beta test, there is still the unknown of the why.

When I had my son, I recall people telling me that my efforts would improve on conceiving the next one. That somehow the flood gates would open up and I would become a baby factory. I made a quick decision after my son’s birth not to start birth control and let nature happen. Unfortunately, after a year, I did not conceive on my own and had to return to Shady Grove Fertility. This is referred to as secondary infertility. This time my doctor focused on treating PCOS and within a few months, I was pregnant. This was exciting news and it came right before Christmas. I remember when I went in after the new year for our 6 week ultrasound. We heard the heartbeat, but I do recall that there was a readjustment on the conception date because the fetus measured smaller. But other than that, we left the appointment elated. At our scheduled 10 week appointment, unfortunately, there was no heartbeat and there was very little growth from the previous appointment. This is referred to as spontaneous abortion. My body detected something was wrong. We opted out of the culture test to determine “the why”, but I recall for several days Googling possible reasons why I miscarried. Along the way, I started to focus on my loss and how to grieve.

No one has the answers. Not Politicians. Not Doctors. Not Google. There is not one experience. We have to share our journeys both good and painful so that we can be treated with respect and compassion. In my experience, I felt in control of my body and my decisions, and I was surrounded with a strong support system that included my doctors, family, and friends. Right now I empathize with Chrissy and the loss of her son Jack, and I pray that she will find peace within her pain and find strength and support from her family and friends.


Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers

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New Path

My husband said to me the other day that he is feeling stressed. My husband is the most optimistic person I know, so if he says he’s stressed then I know something is really bugging him. 

We have both been feeling the weight of the pandemic. It took a while, but it’s starting to hit us harder. I was pregnant for the beginning of it. He had just started working from home and we were busy with our toddler. I had doctor’s visits to go to. We were constantly talking about what it was going to be like when the new baby came, so even though we had begun isolating, life seemed “busy.”

At the end of May, our son was born. Going to the hospital was like a vacation. The first two months of sleep deprived nights seemed to fly by. Suddenly, it was August. As we became acquainted with our new baby and he began to fall into his routine, life seemed to slow down. Every day started to seem the same. Being a stay-at-home mom, repetitive days are something I am used to, but this is different. Every day has to be the same because we don’t feel safe leaving our “bubble.”

Here we are now in September. The weight of the unknown still lies heavily on our shoulders. The holiday season is approaching and we have no set plans because of the fear of the virus. It’s hard to have things to look forward to. As I write this, the song Into The Unknown from Frozen II sounds off in my head. Funny how certain Disney songs can ring true to current life. My daughter is obsessed with the song. She’s been singing it (well her version of ‘singing’) just about every day the last few months. 

The other day, while the babies were napping, I was lost in thought. I was doing some self-reflection and I realized the way I have been feeling is similar to how I felt the year I had my miscarriages.

1.) I feel alone. We’ve been isolating from all of our friends. We see my family on occasion because they live nearby. But even when we are together we are distant. Most of my husband’s family lives far away so we haven’t seen them as often as we’d like. His parents have only seen our son twice.

2.) I feel like nobody understands. I have a toddler and a newborn in a pandemic. The last time there was an event like this was 100 years ago. There aren’t many people to ask for advice on how to do this. I feel so uncertain about the future and uncertain about how to approach the next steps.

3.) I feel helpless. There is so much out of my control. I have to try hard to focus on the things I can control.

4.) I feel afraid. We have family in the medical and social work fields who are exposed every day. We worry about them and try to visit them in the safest way possible. I just hate having to think ahead like this and be cautious with the people we love, but I have to do what I can to keep my immediate family safe.

These feelings are familiar to me and I think being familiar with them has helped me cope better as we go down this new path in life. I know I have the strength to provide a happy environment for my babies. I know I can be strong for my husband when he has his moments of sadness. And I know he can be strong for me because we have both done it before. We have faced disappointment before, and although this is a different situation, we can use the tools we’ve acquired. I am focusing my thoughts on the fact that we have a home to stay safe in, my husband is able to work, and my babies are young enough that I don’t have to worry about school. 

Even though life isn’t following the path we are accustomed to right now, I know we can make it through. I never could have imagined the strength and wisdom I gained from having miscarriages could help me carry my family through a pandemic. This new path we are on is challenging, but I am grateful every day we have each other.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers

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A New Normal

After Charlie passed, I went back to work about 8 weeks later. It may have seemed sudden to some people, but there were only so many days I could sit at home sulking and feeling sorry for myself. I never much cared for what other people thought so I did what was right for me. It was almost therapeutic to go back to my old routine, to see co-workers and just be treated as though nothing happened. That’s the way I preferred it. 

Occasionally I do see someone who remembers me pregnant and knew I had been on maternity leave and they ask that dreaded question, “How is it? Isn’t it great?” and I simply respond, “Yes it’s great.” It’s much easier. Why burden them. Why burden myself. I don’t need the pity or the sympathy. It’s during those times that I now know why stillbirth is such an unspoken topic.

Nonetheless, there was no better place to be then back to my old routine. I learned that it’s much easier to dig down a hole than to dig out of one. I never wanted to be stuck so far down a hole that I couldn’t get out. I took for granted the monotony of simply going to work and now I feel thankful for that opportunity.

I am the most resilient person that I know.

Loss can trigger so much more than just grief and sadness. I’m rounding 7 months since Charlie passed and I have more good days than bad. I feel more calm than I do anger. I see more to be thankful for than to be hateful toward. I don’t dwell on the past, I tend to focus now on the future. I spend more time submerged in nature. I find meaning in butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds. I never thought I’d be here, but I’ve found a way to cope and step forward with hope and understanding. There’s absolutely nothing in this world that I can’t survive. I’ve been told that God does not bestow more than one can handle.

I am the strongest person I know.

Following Charlie, I had a missed miscarriage a few months later and a sub massive pulmonary embolism. 2020 has been less than satisfactory and I would give it a 1 star rating so far. I took a trip back down that rabbit hole and this time didn’t think I’d make it out. I read about the Ava bracelet so I bought it. But the funny part is I had no trouble tracking my ovulation, I still have no idea why I bought it. I’ve never had an issue getting pregnant; it’s all about sustaining it.

Now 7 months later, I am 11 weeks pregnant. This time I feel may be different and have a very happy ending. I worry constantly that it will end and all the symptoms will go away. I worry the heart will stop beating and of course I worry that I won’t make it till the end. I envy those who are so carefree in pregnancy like I once was. The first time around I had planned everything. This time I have no plan. I spent a lot of time planning for absolutely no reason. I know better now. I’m just hoping for the best and will continue updates as this pregnancy progresses.

2020 has been an unwelcoming year for everyone. I would gladly take on Covid with its 98% survival rate to have my baby Charlie alive and well. Unfortunately, those devil deals don’t exist in the real world. Still, from manure the best flowers grow and this new baby will be the flower we’ve been waiting for.

Category : Andrea , Volunteer Bloggers

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The “What Ifs”

As I get older, I find myself spending too much time on the “what ifs,” particularly during the current Covid crisis.  While reflection can be healthy, helpful, and oftentimes results in personal growth, it can also lead me down the rabbit hole of despair if I’m not careful. However, it helps me to realize the many possibilities in life.

In the stillness of the early morning, I often wonder what if my grandson Liam had not been miscarried. He would be almost two years old now, and I imagine him running around and playing with his big sister, Winry. I envision them being close, loving siblings. While Liam is now an angel, we were blessed with a grandson, Rory James, some four months ago. I don’t have to wonder how Winry would react to a younger sibling—I see the love and caring in her eyes.

I often wonder “what if” I had been able to bear children—what they would have been like, how many we would have had, etc. However, doctors advised me not to get pregnant because I have a rare congenital heart defect, Ebstein’s Anomaly.  But we were able to adopt two beautiful children—birth siblings.  We were truly blessed with the gift of parenthood and it has been wonderful to watch them grow into strong, secure, adults.

I often think about the different paths my life could have taken—what if my dad was not killed in the service when I was  six months old, what if I had gone into the Naval Academy (my acceptance was rescinded because of my heart condition), what if I married someone else, and so on.

But my faith compels me to accept that this is the life I am supposed to be living, for better or worse. In spite of the many challenges life may throw my way, I choose to make the best out of any situation and try to find the silver lining. I genuinely believe that each one of us was put here for a purpose. It has been my intention to find ways to use the difficulties in my life to help others. And in doing so I find I get much more back than I give. For example, while I hope others find comfort in reading my blogs, writing them has given me an outlet to grieve and remember Liam.

We all face uncertainties and difficulties in life. While it’s often hard to navigate through the rough waters, take comfort in the fact that calm seas will return.

Category : Deb , Volunteer Bloggers

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Reclaiming Joy

Infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss stole so much from me. Some of it I’ll never be able to get back: time, tears, innocence, and too many more to count. Most importantly, our first 4 babies who never made it here on earth with us. The firsts of happiness at positive pregnancy tests and heartbeat ultrasounds and celebratory early pregnancy milestones.

But as we prepare to welcome our son into the world in just a few short weeks, I’m reclaiming some small joys. Never have I ever looked in the mirror and seen a heavily pregnant woman staring back at me. Or posed for fun in cheesy maternity photos. There are joys we still have to look forward to. Holding our brand new baby in my arms. Mothering a living child who loves me back. These new firsts and firsts-to-be bring a different kind of joy, the joy of happiness and dare I say contentment after so much hurt and pain. The joy of triumphing over seemingly endless heartache and of so deeply appreciating what we will finally have when we bring our baby home.

I have nothing to compare my particular joy to, although I imagine it must be different in some way than that of those who have never had our experiences and for whom parenthood comes more easily. Maybe it is sweeter, to know that we almost didn’t get to have him? To know that no matter what comes or the difficult times we might experience that we are all in on parenting? No regrets. No hesitations. Or maybe it is tainted by the difficulty and trauma of our journey? Maybe it will always live there underneath the surface like a wound that has only partially healed? Will I always cringe at the sight of other happy families with seemingly no cares or troubles in the world? Or will I slowly, unfathomably, become one of them in this new chapter of my life?

It’s hard to imagine the memory of this nightmare dulling when it feels so technicolor clear to me right now. Perhaps there will always be a small part of me that is forever broken from these experiences – and certainly a part of me that has been forever changed – but I think there is plenty of joy to be found on the other side if I can only force myself to reclaim it after all this time.

Category : Meredith , Volunteer Bloggers

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When it’s time

I have held some traumatic images and details of my own miscarriage secret for a long time. I told no one including my husband. Finally, through therapy, I made the decision to explain to him and then to write about it.

We received confirmation on 5/31/17 of my miscarriage from our doctor. When given the option to pass naturally, I stopped him and said, “I don’t think I can handle that. Please schedule me for the D&C.” Two days later, the morning of my procedure, I went to the bathroom. When I wiped, I had passed the baby. At first, I thought it was a clot that I was passing, but when I looked closer I could see arms. I touched them, seeing if I was correct in noting that they were arms.

And then my brain shut down. It was protecting me from the trauma I was experiencing, which was holding my blueberry sized dead baby in my hand. I flushed everything down the toilet and went to my appointment.

Only when they called to state that the procedure was successful and I asked if they had located the baby, the doctor told me that there was evidence of a “product of conception” but wouldn’t or couldn’t confirm the actual baby.

At that moment, I was overcome with grief at the honest and full realization that I had flushed my baby in the toilet. As I told my husband, I do not have many regrets in life, but this is a huge one. It has caused me to feel deep shame, grief, remorse, and anger at my body for not only failing to keep my baby safe, but for then disposing of him the way I did.

This is deeply personal to me and I’ve struggled for 3 years on who to tell, how to tell them, and how to heal from the unbelievable grief it has caused in addition to the loss of the baby. I know now that I can’t change it, but the relief of sharing and maybe letting someone know they’re not alone has been healing itself.

Category : Jessica , Volunteer Bloggers

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I choose better

I am not okay. I am struggling right now in my spirit. For 6 months I have been in lock down because I am doing my part, making the sacrifices, and compromising my life to help eradicate COVID19, but it is NOT making a dent in this pandemic as the community infection rates rise. Prior to COVID19, I had a plan. After years of contemplating going back to school, I took the leap of faith, submitted my resume and accepted a new position. I was able to finally enroll in an online Masters degree program I have contemplated for a few years now. I felt at ease with my youngest son turning one and my oldest son in Pre-Kindergarten, things were moving along as planned with the goal to finish my program in the spring of 2021. And then COVID19 hit our country. And now I am scrambling to keep my work, family and school obligations from crashing down on me. This is not fair! I feel like no one cares nor is listening to me.

Similarly, I know that many came into the new year with plans to start a family or resume fertility treatment or try again after a pregnancy loss. Many of these plans have been placed in jeopardy or on hold because of COVID19. For many who were due this year, added stress of the unknown caused concern about pregnancy and delivery care. And for those who went through a pregnancy loss, the isolation added more weight to the loss without the comfort of friends and family. Too many unknown variables contributed to anxiety and depression. My mental state is fried. When I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out just to be a firefly and I am still surrounded by darkness. One day its like this country takes one step forward to then takes five steps backwards. It is infuriating. It maddens me.

When the anxiety is too much and I have exploded in complete delirium, when I finally am able to calm the rage inside my spirit, the compassion and love for my family and friends resurface. I recalibrate because when one goes through pain and suffering we are never the same coming out of the fire. The hope is that we are refined, made better because of the pain. For me, this life season is hurtful and I want to change and be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and neighbor. I want to be a better global citizen. I truly hope that as a country we can empathize with each other and not only help each other up, but carry the burden because the struggle is real. The pain is real. And it is how we come out of the fire that will redefine us as a country. How you come out of your pain, your struggle, your loss will set the course we walk down and hopefully it will be for better days.



Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


If you’ve come to this blog, it likely means you have suffered a pregnancy loss of some type. We are so sorry you have found yourself here, but hope the stories of life after loss can help you on your road to healing and recovery. Remember, we are all in this together!

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